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Carlos Sainz to make Ferrari return at Australian Grand Prix after Oliver Bearman debut

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Carlos Sainz is expected to make his Ferrari return at this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix after the driver had to undergo appendicitis surgery.

The Spaniard pulled out of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix at late notice after he was diagnosed with appendicitis following the second practice session.

British teenager Oliver Bearman stepped in impressively to replace Sainz and recorded a seventh place finish in the race but now looks set to return to Formula Two.

“Carlos Sainz is expected to be back in the car, having had to miss Jeddah with appendicitis,” Ferrari said in a pre-race statement. “He and team mate Charles Leclerc will most likely be fighting at the front of the field, as they have done in the first two rounds.”

Sainz finished third behind Max Vertsappen and Sergio Perez at last month’s season-opener in Bahrain. In his absence, Leclerc stepped up in Riyadh and secured a podium finish behind the two Red Bull drivers, with Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur hoping for another solid display in Melbourne.

“The Albert Park track is a favourite with the drivers and one where Ferrari has always enjoyed a lot of support,” said Vasseur. “We expect to be front runners on this track which could produce a similar pecking order to the one seen in Jeddah.

“We intend adopting an aggressive approach with the aim of putting pressure on the team [Red Bull] that’s won the first two races.”

Bearman, who claimed pole at Saudi Arabia F2 feature race before his last-minute call-up to Ferrari, will return to race for F2 team PREMA Racing. He came 15th in the season-opener in Bahrain.